Does blood clot cause pain in leg: Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – Symptoms and causes
Is your leg pain normal, or is it a blood clot?
Skip to content
According to the American Society of Hematology, each year in the United States, approximately 900,000 people experience deep vein thrombosis or blood clots.
Know what to look for and avoid serious complications.
The first sign of a blood clot is mild pain. As the pain intensifies, the skin near the blood clot may become red and very warm to the touch. Since blood clots restrict blood flow, the pain often limits a person’s ability to move.
Most blood clots occur in the veins in the legs, but they can develop in arteries and other parts of the body, too.
Blood clots are serious.
If the blood clot breaks loose and travels through the veins or arteries to the heart, lungs, or brain, it could cause a heart attack, pulmonary embolism, stroke, or even death.
How do blood clots form?
In healthy people, blood clots form naturally after an injury or surgery. The platelets and plasma in the blood combine to start the clotting process. The first job of these cells is to build a dam to stop the blood, which prevents people from bleeding to death after a minor cut or scratch. The second job of this group of cells is to create a scab to protect the skin from infection while the body heals.
This is the body’s normal response to injury. As the tissues heal, the scab dissolves and is absorbed back into the body.
But blood clots that develop in the veins and arteries can be dangerous.
When circulation inside the blood vessels slows because of injury or other constricting conditions, the blood thickens. Platelets and plasma bond blood cells together and create the clot.
Blood clots that form for no apparent reason are the most dangerous.
Both arterial and venous clots can cause dangerous health complications if the clot travels.
A major cause of arterial blood clots is arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. When plaque-build-up on the arterial wall ruptures, platelets and plasma rush in to repair the damage and create a blood clot. If the clot breaks free and travels to the lungs or the brain, it can have fatal consequences.
Deep vein thrombosis or DVT blood clots occur in the arms and legs but are more common in the latter.
People experiencing DVT blood clots will feel increasing levels of pain. The skin around the area will become warm and sensitive to touch. The skin may have a reddened appearance as the body works to get rid of the clot. If blood flow is restricted, people often feel pain when they move the affected area, Anyone suffering these symptoms should call 9-1-1 and seek immediate treatment.
Are you at risk for a DVT blood clot?
Several conditions increase the likelihood of deep vein thrombosis.
• Obesity slows blood flow, which creates the potential for blood clots.
• Sitting in one position for two or three hours or more while traveling in a car or plane hinders muscle movement and restricts proper circulation.
• Smoking decreases the oxygen in the blood and blood flow.
• Trauma or surgery can cause immobilization and stress the circulatory system, which heightens the risk.
• Age increases the risk, especially for people over 60 years of age.
• Diabetes damages nerves and interferes with circulation.
• Cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases increase the risk of circulation issues.
• Pregnancy, birth-control pills, and other hormonal treatments can impact the body’s clotting response.
Some research suggests endurance athletes may also have an increased risk of life-threatening blood clots because of injury, dehydration, and travel. The signs of a blood clot mimic the symptoms of many sports-related muscle injuries. Athletes may ignore a blood clot thinking it is an injury that will heal with time.
Can you prevent blood clots?
Yes. Many blood clots are preventable.
Prevent arterial blood clots by watching your diet, monitoring your blood pressure, and taking action to keep your cholesterol numbers in check. Work with your healthcare provider to determine the best prevention plan for your health. You can reduce your risk of clots in your veins by making lifestyle changes.
• If you smoke, stop.
• If you’re overweight, lose weight by eating nutrition-rich foods and exercising to burn excess calories.
• Avoid long periods of immobility. If you’re traveling by car, stop often. If you’re flying, stand up and walk around every hour or two.
• If you have diabetes or a chronic inflammatory disease, be vigilant, and maintain your health. Ask your healthcare provider for specific ways you can avoid blood clots.
How are blood clots treated?
If you receive a DVT blood clot diagnosis, your healthcare provider may refer you to a hematologist, a physician specialized in the treatment of blood-related conditions.
After your diagnosis, your healthcare team will determine which treatment is the most effective for your condition. Your treatment plan will be based on your current health, any underlying conditions, and the location of the blood clot.
Medication is an effective treatment for some types of blood clots.
Anticoagulants, like warfarin or heparin, prevent blood clots from forming.
Thrombolytics dissolve blood clots that have formed and are causing problems.
Catheter-directed thrombolysis. Other blood clots require more intervention. Catheter-directed thrombolysis is a procedure that inserts a catheter into the vein to deliver clot-dissolving medication directly to the clot.
Surgery. Clots located in critical areas or those that don’t respond well to medication or other minimally invasive techniques may require surgical removal.
What if I have leg pain, but I’m not sure if it is a blood clot?
Blood clots that cause symptoms are serious and need immediate medical attention. If you have pain in your legs or arms accompanied by redness and swelling that seems to get worse, contact your healthcare provider or visit an urgent care facility for treatment.
Toggle Sliding Bar Area
Page load link
Go to Top
10 Alarming Signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a very serious condition that requires emergent medical attention. DVT is caused when blood within the veins, typically in the leg, forms clots.
Clotting is an essential defense mechanism of the body, but it is supposed to stop wounds from bleeding, not block veins and arteries. DVT is especially dangerous because blood clots can break off, flowing to the heart or lungs and causing a fatal pulmonary embolism.
Many factors increase your risk, including smoking, obesity, age, and limited leg movement. It is important to be aware of the signs of DVT and seek medical treatment if you notice any issues.
Swelling is a typical sign of deep vein thrombosis. When the flow of blood is blocked or reduced, it causes painful swelling. While not all DVT clots swell enough to be noticeable, you should pay attention to any visible signs of swelling. If you notice a tender or painful lump in your leg or observe swollen tissue, you should contact a physician right away. Blood clots are very serious and should never be taken lightly. If pain or other signs accompany your swelling, seek emergency care.
Pain is one of the most common signs of a blood clot causing deep vein thrombosis. Passengers on a long flight, for example, might notice a throbbing pain in their leg later that day. This type of pain occurs when blood is not able to flow freely through the vein due to the blockage, causing swelling. This is a sign that a clot has formed, and should be given immediate medical attention. If the clot breaks off and travels to your heart, it could be fatal, so do not make the mistake of ignoring leg pain.
Redness or Color Change
As blood begins to pool behind the clot, you may notice a change in skin color. The area of the leg behind the clot may become red, in addition to being swollen. Meanwhile, the areas with reduced blood flow may turn white or even blue. Any time you notice an unexplained color change on your legs, you should look for other signs that it may be DVT. If you suspect that a clot could be the cause of the redness, do not delay in getting medical assistance. Typically, redness caused by DVT would be accompanied by pain and swelling, but a doctor should examine any color changes.
Legs Feeling Tired
When parts of your body are not getting enough blood, you may notice that they feel fatigued. The same applies to DVT. To demonstrate this, try holding your arm upright, without leaning it on something. As blood flow to your hand and forearm decreases, your arm will feel weaker and more fatigued. If you experience this sensation in your leg, it may be due to a blood clot causing DVT. As the blood flow in your leg becomes restricted due to the blockage, you may notice that your leg becomes weaker and more tired. An ultrasound can confirm whether DVT is the cause.
Your skin can provide many clues about what is going on underneath it. In addition to turning red, people with deep vein thrombosis may notice that there is an issue because the skin becomes warm to the touch. This is because as the blood begins to collect in the vein behind the clot, it increases temperature and leads to warm skin. This sign usually occurs concurrently with many of the other symptoms. When it does, it is important to seek urgent medical attention to examine the clot before it has time to break off and cause severe damage.
Visible or Bulging Veins
Although it doesn’t occur in everyone, visible or bulging veins may be a telltale sign of deep vein thrombosis. When a clot is present, blood is not able to flow as easily and may cause the vein the enlarge. If the tissues in your leg are swollen, it may be difficult to see whether the vein itself is swollen. However, some patients do experience this on their own. Having consistently visible veins, including varicose veins, maybe a sign that you are at higher risk for developing DVT, as well.
Shortness of Breath
If you experience shortness of breath, you should always take it very seriously. This can potentially be a sign of deep vein thrombosis, but if it is, you should call an ambulance or have someone take you to the emergency room immediately. Shortness of breath may signal that the blood clot has broken off and traveled to your lungs or heart. Pulmonary embolisms can be fatal if not treated immediately, so do not delay if you experience this symptom, especially if it is a combination with any of the other signs mentioned.
Patients who are experiencing a pulmonary embolism often have severe chest pain. This is another sign that the blood clot has traveled through your bloodstream to your lungs. Pulmonary embolisms can cause heart failure, along with other complications. The chest pain is typically accompanied by shortness of breath and other signs of cardiovascular and respiratory distress and can be a sign of this potentially fatal condition. Of course, any time that you experience severe or unexplained chest pain, you should seek emergency care. There is no way to treat a pulmonary embolism on your own.
Dizziness or Confusion
One of the other primary symptoms of deep vein thrombosis is dizziness or confusion. This may happen initially, as blood flow becomes restricted and your brain receives less oxygen. It can also happen if the blood clot breaks off and causes a pulmonary embolism. In this case, you will need to receive treatment right away to prevent permanent damage or death. When DVT turns into a pulmonary embolism, confusion, light-headedness, fatigue, and dizziness are common symptoms. If you experience this in connection with any other symptoms, you may have a life-threatening condition and should immediately contact your doctor.
Even though there are a lot of symptoms associated with DVT, an overwhelming majority of patients do not have any visible symptoms of DVT. It is important to be aware of your risk level, and pay close attention to any indication that something may be wrong. Older adults who smoke or are overweight are at a much higher risk of DVT. Also, anyone who has traveled on a long flight or otherwise spent extended periods of time without walking or stretching their lengths may be at an increased risk as well. If you notice any symptoms of DVT or have concerns about your risk level, speak to your doctor.
Prevent Blood Clots
Blood clots can happen at the end of any procedure and are much more likely to occur in the sedentary patient. Therefore, it is very important to move around as much as possible after the surgery. Pump your ankles, contract your large muscles in your legs, get up and walk within your restrictions and move all joints that are not splinted as much as possible! If you were prescribed blood thinners, then take them. If you had any lower extremity procedure and were not prescribed blood thinners, then take a baby aspirin every day as well as follow the other advice in this paragraph.
In a summary, if you experience any of the above-mentioned signs or symptoms, you must go to the emergency room immediately or call 911.
Carolina Regional Orthopaedics
Carolina Regional Orthopaedics provides the most effective, modern, and innovative techniques in both Orthopedic Surgery and Pain Management using proven methodologies in both the surgical and non-surgical treatment of all conditions affecting the spine, upper extremities, and lower extremities. We specialize in hand and wrist surgery, joint replacements, sports medicine, trauma care, pediatric orthopedics, pain management, wound care, regenerative medicine, physical therapy, imaging services, and EMG testing.
Treatment of foot pain in the elderly in Moscow
Various reasons can provoke pain in the legs in the elderly: from insufficient physical activity and malnutrition to diseases of the cardiovascular or nervous system. Experienced doctors of the RGNCC in Moscow will help the patient to identify the true causes of pain and cope with disorders.
Pain in the legs as a signal of beriberi and neurological pathologies
Deficiency of B vitamins, nerve root damage and other neurological diseases are indicated by:
- burning sensation in the feet;
- numbness of limbs;
- spasms and convulsions;
- decreased appetite;
- impaired reflexes;
- weakness, unruly legs;
- sensation of “current” when moving.
If the doctor reveals signs of a neurological deficit during the examination, he may prescribe blood tests, an MRI of the brain or spine, since in this case pain in the legs can be caused by a deficiency of B vitamins, Parkinson’s disease, osteochondrosis, osteoarthrosis. Treatment is conservative: medication, physiotherapy, massage and exercise therapy.
A lack of minerals can cause severe muscle pain, cramps, a feeling of “twisting” of the feet when sipping.
Potassium, calcium, or magnesium deficiency in older women and men is usually indicated by:
- cardiac arrhythmias;
- muscle twitches;
- convulsions or spasms;
- general weakness, fatigue;
- severe aching pains in the legs.
In the presence of such symptoms, the doctor may prescribe a blood test for potassium, magnesium, calcium, as well as an ultrasound of the heart, an ECG. Hypokalemia is a life-threatening condition that affects muscles, including the heart. To correct the amount of minerals in the body, taking medications (for example, potassium supplements) and a therapeutic diet help.
Thrombus in the leg vessel
Sharp, sudden pain in the leg can cause a detached blood clot. A hematoma appears on the skin, the temperature rises in the painful area. A large clot can be felt when feeling the leg. Pain is aggravated by movement, at rest their intensity decreases. Due to circulatory disorders, the leg turns blue, turns cold, and loses sensitivity. The condition requires urgent medical care: ultrasound, if the diagnosis is confirmed, surgical intervention.
In the early stages, varicose veins make themselves felt with pain, swelling, but changes can only be detected with the help of ultrasound of the vessels of the legs. Over time, the veins begin to bulge, tubercles and nodes appear on the legs. The disease is more common in women than in men.
When the diagnosis is confirmed, the patient is prescribed exercise therapy, wearing compression stockings, and drug therapy. In advanced cases, surgical treatment is indicated.
Articular and bone pathologies
Severe pain in the legs cause bone tumors, injuries, inflammation of the articular bag, arthritis and arthrosis. Inflammatory diseases provoke hyperemia, severe swelling, fever – general or local. MRI and X-ray examination allow to detect a neoplasm or bursitis. Treatment depends on the specific pathology. Both conservative methods (medication, physiotherapy) and surgical interventions are used.
What causes leg swelling?
Some conditions can cause significant swelling that causes severe pressure pain in the legs.
To swelling of the legs lead:
- increased sodium level;
- kidney disease;
- high venous pressure;
- decrease in protein levels;
- increased permeability of the vascular walls;
- lymphatic congestion.
Fluid retention in the body is accompanied by swelling of the legs, “tearing” pains, and a feeling of heaviness. Swollen feet are more cramped in shoes, but better when lying down. The choice of treatment methods depends on which disease led to the appearance of puffiness.
Treatment of foot pain in the elderly in Moscow
Self-medication for pain in the legs is dangerous, since therapeutic methods indicated for some diseases may be contraindicated for others.
Highly qualified specialists of the RGNCC specialize in working with elderly patients. Careful diagnosis and effective treatment help eliminate the causes of pain and significantly improve the quality of life.
The center is located in Moscow at the address: 1st Leonova Street, 16. To clarify the prices for services and make an appointment for treatment, call the numbers listed on the website or use the online form.
- Make an appointment
- Leave feedback
Consent to processing
Pain in the heart area – causes of pain depending on the type and location of pain
Call us right now at
+7 (812) 435 55 55
Call a doctor at home
and in the region of the heart : reasons
The heart is an organ that continuously works throughout a person’s life, constantly pumping blood through the vessels to ensure an uninterrupted supply of oxygen and nutrition to the cells, while simultaneously removing metabolic products and carbon dioxide. The heart muscle constantly needs an influx of oxygen-rich blood. The coronary arteries, which branch off from the aorta, supply the heart with food and oxygen. If they suffer, serious health problems are possible.
Pain in the heart area: causes
Acute coronary syndrome with pain in the heart area is the most dangerous condition. It occurs when the blood supply to an area of the heart muscle (myocardium) is severely reduced or completely cut off due to a sudden blockage or narrowing of a coronary artery. The lack of blood supply to any tissue is called ischemia. If the supply is significantly reduced or stopped for more than a few minutes, the heart tissue dies. This is how a heart attack, or myocardial infarction (MI), develops. This is the death (necrosis) of a certain area of the heart tissue due to ischemia.
A blood clot (or thrombus) is the most common cause of coronary artery blockage. Usually, the artery is already partially narrowed due to the accumulation of cholesterol and other fatty materials in the artery wall (atheroma or plaque). It can crumble or rupture, releasing substances that make platelets more sticky, which can cause clots to form. In about two-thirds of people, the blood clot dissolves on its own, usually within 1 to 2 days. However, damage to small areas of the heart usually occurs by this time.
Rarely, a heart attack occurs when a clot forms in the heart itself, breaks off, and lodges in a coronary artery. Another uncommon cause is a coronary artery spasm that stops blood flow. Spasms can be caused by stress, certain medications, smoking, and alcohol. Sometimes the exact cause of pain in the heart area cannot be determined.
Types of pain in the region of the heart
Depending on the specific cause, the patient is concerned about pain in the region of the heart of a different nature. They can be isolated, but are more often accompanied by other symptoms that also need to be paid attention to. Based on the type of pain and its localization, duration and accompanying complaints, certain pathologies can be suspected.
- Acute coronary syndrome occurs as a result of a sudden blockage of a coronary artery (or a branch thereof). This blockade causes unstable angina or the development of myocardial infarction, depending on the location and degree of blockage. People with acute coronary syndrome usually experience pressure or sharp pain in the chest, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
- Aortic dissection . Over time, uncontrolled high blood pressure can weaken the wall of the heart’s main artery (aorta). It will thin out until it eventually ruptures, leading to an aortic dissection, which is a medical emergency. An aortic dissection usually causes sudden, severe, sharp pain in the chest, neck, throat, or jaw, and often a feeling of pressure in the chest that radiates back.
- Heart valve disease . The heart has four chambers. The upper and lower chambers are connected by flap valves that open and close to allow blood to flow in only one direction. If the valves are affected, these leaflets harden, coalesce, or leak and don’t work properly. The consequences of these valve problems can cause chest pains in the region of the heart.
- Myocarditis and pericarditis . Chest pain can also be caused by irritation and swelling of the heart (myocarditis) or its outer lining (pericarditis). Inflammation can be caused by an infection or as a consequence of a heart attack, heart surgery. Pain in myocarditis or pericarditis is usually sharp, burning and localized in the center of the chest, in the sternum. Typical pain in the region of the heart when inhaling, on the background of coughing, on movement. Sometimes it decreases if the patient is sitting or leaning forward.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). This is a thickening of part of the heart. If a person has this disease, the heart has to work harder to pump blood in and out of the heart, which can cause dull or aching chest pains. They can intensify under stress.
Other causes of chest pain
Pain in the region of the heart at rest is possible, which are of non-cardiac origin, but simulate cardiac pathology. These can be problems with the lungs (thromboembolism of the branches of the pulmonary artery, pneumonia, cancer) or damage to the intercostal muscles, costal cartilage (costochondritis), osteochondrosis. Then there will be soreness in the ribs, especially with deep breathing, aching or stabbing pain, malaise or weakness. With thromboembolism, there are breathing problems, severe shortness of breath, increasing dizziness, a feeling of lack of air.
It is not easy to recognize these pathologies, therefore, if any pain appears in the chest area, especially in the left shoulder blade, in the retrosternal space, above the heart area, you should immediately call an ambulance or consult a doctor.
Symptoms that call for an ambulance
The manifestations of different variants of acute coronary syndrome are similar, it is often impossible to distinguish between angina and heart attack only on the basis of symptoms.
Angina symptoms are quite typical. People usually have an attack of pressing squeezing pain under the shoulder blade or behind the sternum. People often interpret this sensation as discomfort or heaviness rather than pain. Discomfort can also occur in the shoulder or on the inside of either arm, extending through the back into the throat, jaw, or teeth. However, in people with unstable angina, the picture changes. There are more frequent or more severe attacks of pain, or attacks occur at rest or after light physical exertion. About two out of three people who have had a heart attack experience unstable angina, shortness of breath, or fatigue a few days or weeks before. This change in the nature of chest pain can lead to a heart attack.
In a heart attack, the most recognizable symptom is usually mid-chest pain, which may radiate to the back, jaw, or left arm. Less commonly, the pain spreads to the right arm. The pain of a heart attack is similar to that of angina, but is usually more severe, lasts longer, and is not relieved by rest or nitroglycerin. Less often, the pain is felt in the abdomen, where it can be mistaken for indigestion, especially because belching can provide partial or temporary relief.
For reasons unknown, women often present with atypical symptoms that are less likely to be accurately diagnosed as a heart problem. About a third of people who have had a heart attack do not experience chest pain. These are usually women, people over 75, those with heart failure or diabetes, and those who have had a stroke.
Other symptoms of an attack include feeling lightheaded or fainting, sudden heavy sweating, nausea, shortness of breath, and rapid heartbeat (tachycardia).
During a heart attack, a person may become restless, anxious, sweat profusely, and may experience a sense of impending doom. Lips, hands or feet may turn slightly blue. In the first hours of a heart attack, a heart murmur and abnormal heart sounds can be heard with a stethoscope.
Pain in the region of the heart: what to do
The first thing to do when pain occurs is to lie down or sit down, loosen the belts, shirt collar, bra elastic. You need to open windows or turn on the air conditioner to provide the patient with cool fresh air. It is also necessary to take drugs from the nitrate group (under the tongue or in the form of a spray), to calm down as much as possible. Against the background of first aid, you should immediately call an ambulance.
Diagnosing patients with frequent chest pain
ECG is the most important initial diagnostic procedure for frequent chest pain. ECG abnormalities help doctors determine the type of treatment needed. ECG abnormalities also help determine where the heart muscle has been damaged. If several ECGs taken over the course of several hours are completely normal, doctors consider a heart attack unlikely.
Measuring the levels of certain substances (called cardiac markers) in the blood can also help doctors diagnose an abnormality. These substances are normally found in the heart muscle, but only enter the bloodstream when it is damaged or dead. Most commonly measured are heart muscle proteins called troponin I and troponin T, and an enzyme called creatine kinase. Blood levels rise within 6 hours after a heart attack and remain elevated for several days. Cardiac marker levels are usually measured upon admission to the hospital and at intervals of 6 to 12 hours over the next 24 hours.
When ECG and cardiac markers do not provide sufficient information, echocardiography can be performed. It may show reduced mobility of part of the left ventricular wall. This suggests damage due to a heart attack. Other tests are used to determine if a person needs additional treatment or is more likely to have heart problems. For example, a person may need to wear a Holter monitor that records the electrical activity of the heart over a 24-hour period. This procedure allows doctors to determine if a person has abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) or episodes of insufficient blood supply without symptoms (silent ischemia).
An exercise stress test (electrocardiography done during exercise) before or shortly after discharge can help determine how well a person feels after an attack and whether ischemia is ongoing.